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Part B (Medical Insurance)

Helps Pay For:

Doctors’ services, outpatient hospital care, and some other medical services that Part A doesn’t cover, such as the services of physical and occupational therapists, and some home health care. Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary. Information about your coverage under Medicare Part B can be found in the Your Medicare Coverage database.


Most Medicare beneficiaries will continue to pay the same $96.40 Part B premium amount in 2010. Beneficiaries who currently have the Social Security Administration (SSA) withhold their Part B premium and have incomes of $85,000 or less (or $170,000 or less for joint filers) will not have an increase in their Part B premium for 2010. For additional details, see our FAQ titled: Will my Medicare Part B premium increase in 2010?

For all others, the standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $110.50 in 2010, which is a 15% increase over the 2009 premium. The Medicare Part B premium is increasing in 2010 due to possible increases in Part B costs. If your income is above $85,000 (single) or $170,000 (married couple), then your Medicare Part B premium may be higher than $110.50 per month. For additional details, see our FAQ titled: 2010 Part B Premium Amounts for Persons with Higher Income Levels

In some cases this amount may be higher if you didn’t choose Part B when you first became eligible at age 65. The cost of Part B may go up 10% for each 12-month period that you could have had Part B but did not sign up for it, except in special cases. You will have to pay this extra 10% as long as you have Medicare Part B.

Enrolling in Part B is your choice. You can sign up for Part B anytime during a 7-month period that begins 3 months before you turn 65. Please call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or visit or call your local Social Security office to sign up. If you choose to have Part B, the premium is usually taken out of your monthly Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service Retirement payment. If you don’t get any of the above payments, Medicare sends you a bill for your Part B premium every 3 months. You should get your Medicare premium bill by the 10th of the month. If you don’t get your bill by the 10th, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, or your local Social Security office. If you get benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board, call your local RRB office or 1-877-772-5772.

For More Information About Medicare Part B Coverage:

Visit the Your Medicare Coverage database.

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